40th Annual Oyster Crush Banner

Virginia Beach Connector - Salem Lakes Edition - September 2023

Virginia Beach’s best party is back, and local charities are again the beneficiaries! The 39th annual Oyster Crush Fundraiser, hosted by the Cape Henry Rotary Foundation, will occur on Sunday, October 8, 2023 from 1pm-6pm at Ballyhoos Restaurant in Virginia Beach.

Brian McCullough, Chairman of this year’s event, stated, “The Rotary Club is continuing our tradition of hosting a massive oyster roast and party for a cause, and since 2015, the event has raised over $307,000 for local charities, scholarships, and youth programs in the Hampton Roads area.” McCullough continued, “As we look to make this event even better every year, we continue to pay close attention to feedback from our guests. We continue to work on improved food service, oyster quality, and even the little things like restroom facilities designed to ensure a first-class experience.”

All-you-can-eat oysters, raw or roasted over a wood fire, steamed clams, and a full meal including BBQ, fried chicken, and drinks will be served. You can dance all day to the music of Tidewater Drive and DJ ShyDot, who are returning this year by popular demand.

“The Oyster Crush is a wonderful event!” said Joanie Needham, Vice President, Private Banking with Dollar Bank, who has attended many times. “It’s a good feeling knowing that my donation stays local and enables nonprofits to provide essential programs for the homeless, pediatric cancer patients, women in crisis, and so many others who need assistance.”

Thirty-nine years equals a lot of oysters. The Cape Henry Rotary Club was founded in 1984 when they began the oyster roast tradition to raise money for local charities. Club volunteers have always run this event. In the early years, the event was held outdoors at Fort Story. Bill Deal and the Rhondels, often referred to as a “beach music tradition,” provided the tunes for shag dancing all day long.


In 2010, a major rainstorm on the day of the event caused the Club to rethink the venue to allow either rain or shine. In 2011, the event moved to Marina Shores.

When Marina Shores closed for redevelopment, Oyster Crush moved across the road to Ballyhoos Restaurant. Ballyhoos is an excellent location! It provides plenty of room for eating, dancing, and socializing. The club also has a shuttle system for rides to/from designated off-site parking locations.

The fundraising efforts support local Hampton Roads charities “We know these organizations are making a difference here in our local area on a day-to-day basis, says Cindy Stover, President of the Cape Henry Rotary Club. “Last year’s Oyster Crush awarded grants to 22 local charities!”

One such charity benefiting from a grant is FACT (Families of Autistic Children in Tidewater). For 27 years, FACT has offered social and recreational programs that motivate children and young adults with autism (ages 6-40) to engage with peers and the Hampton Roads community. FACT programs enhance social and communication skills by utilizing similar-aged non-disabled peer volunteers and employing highly trained staff. Several of their programs involve field trips throughout Hampton Roads, and their focus on social integration helps to foster awareness and acceptance of individuals with autism throughout the community.

“We have enjoyed a great relationship with Cape Henry Rotary for many years and truly appreciate their support of our programs and participants. This year’s grant is being used to fund FACT’s end-of-week parties during summer camp, including cupcakes, balloons, and an indoor putt-putt course for the campers with autism!” stated Tyler Williamson, Chief Executive Officer of FACT.

Another goal of Oyster Crush is to introduce guests to these local charities. The charities are invited to participate in a “charity row” at Oyster Crush that allows them to meet with guests to share information about their charity and make some connections.


SAVE THE DATE! Please join Virginia Connector staff for one of Virginia Beach’s best traditions on Sunday, October 8, 2023 from 1PM-6PM at Ballyhoos Restaurant. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased online. This is a 21+ over event.

Are you looking for opportunities to get involved in the community? We invite you to check out the Cape Henry Rotary Club.

The original Article can be found here.

How You Can Help the 40th Annual Oyster Crush

author avatar
Shannon Bowman